Sophia Ernst was presented as a village grandmother

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Now apple trees have grown in the courtyard of the Tarkovsky house, which a few years ago we all planted together with the Dutch director Jos Stelling, Tarkovsky’s eldest son Arseniy. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth of Andrei Tarkovsky, the exposition was updated, made modern, preserving the former spirit of this house. Lines of memoirs connected with years of deprivation, war, front-line letters appeared on the stove. Tarkovsky’s sister Marina Arsenievna donated family heirlooms.

A concert was held in the city square in memory of the recently deceased Eduard Artemyev, who worked with Tarkovsky on the films Stalker, Solaris, and Mirror. The composer’s son arrived, the granddaughter took the stage. His works were performed under the pouring rain. The concert for some time even had to be interrupted due to the flow of water. But the elements gave magic to what was happening. There are no foreign guests at the festival, with the exception of jury members from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. But the outstanding theatrical director Anatoly Vasiliev arrived and headed the jury. The city is no longer satisfied with the procession of filmmakers, as it was when Rafe Fiennes came to Yuryevets. The locals do not take to the streets with their treats, they do not drink carrot tea, although they sell fish and you can try it. But the invisible presence of Tarkovsky seems to be dissolved in the air.

In Ivanovo, they tried to preserve this atmosphere by showing films where there is a certain spirit of the place. One of such attempts was made in the documentary and artistic improvisation “Thin Thread” on the topic of the outgoing culture, as filmmaker Sofya Gorlenko defined the genre of the film. She made her film debut in 2015 with the film Atlantis of the Russian North, then filmed Tales of Mom. Her new work suits the slogan already used by others “We live in Russia”.

The film consists of five short stories, filmed in different regions of the country, about folk customs and national clothes. Its heroes, but mostly heroines, were four Russian designers and one couturier.

Concert in honor of Eduard Artemyev in Yuryevets.

The artist Masha Andrianova, in the 17-minute short story allotted to her, turns into a Karelian bride right before our eyes. She studied at one of the Parisian fashion schools, worked as an assistant for French and Italian stylists, and in 2014 moved to Moscow to develop her own brand. In the film, she, like Blok’s stranger, breathing in spirits and mists, says that she left Paris for the sake of Russia and her roots. She, like the director of the film, is more interested in the Russian North and the tradition of folk costume associated with it. We see Masha’s hands, as if chained with massive rings, we feel their texture. The fabrics here seem to breathe, play with texture. The artist tells how women during the war in the 1940s hid the authentic national clothes they had inherited in the cellars in order to keep them until better times. But almost nothing survived. Material culture slips away, especially in years of upheaval. She is so fragile and needs protection. Masha admits that she would like to become a part of the ceremony, and now we have an ethnic bride in her person. It turned out, as the creators say, atmospheric.

The second short story is dedicated to the return of the ethnographer and costume designer Salima Usmanova to her native Yunai. Time seemed to freeze there. Local women dressed in national Bashkir clothes roll out dough and prepare beshbarmak. Grass is fragrant in the meadows, and we seem to feel its smell. The fabulous, cosmic beauty around is cut off from the ordinary. “We are such people – Bashkirs,” will sound from the screen. The world is based on them. The authors are strenuously trying to convey this obvious idea to us, using a whole arsenal of folklore coloring, driving folk culture into a trunk of glamor, which it absolutely does not need.

The third short story is Udmurt. The artist with the amazing name of Paladdy Bashurov is driving home in a truck to “feed on the strength of his people”, “to become an Udmurt woman”. Paladdia felt like a real artist, creating the image of a perky girl, which nevertheless brings lively energy, despite the pathos of some of her statements: “The path of the ancestors is my path. I’m going for inspiration for my art.” The secret goal of the heroine is to “drag all the bows from the village museum” and get married before the end of the year. Finally, humor appears, knocking down the pretentious intonation.

Anatoly Vasilyev at the Tarkovsky’s house.

The almanac contains a lot of staged beauties and statics that undermine the persistent search for authenticity, which is the main goal of the authors. Costume designer Alisa Gorshenina “flows into Komi” and becomes the heroine of the fifth short story. Her world seems to be pulled together by visible and invisible threads, stretching right up to heaven. Alice herself is like a mermaid caught in a net, a beautiful fish at the bottom of the sea. A thin thread, as conceived by the authors, weaves patchwork of feature and documentary films, as well as improvisations, where ethnic women from different regions lead a round dance, creating a ghostly image of the country.

The only man here is the couturier called Frol Burimsky. The fourth meditative short story is dedicated to him, designed to fix the portrait of the Russian North. Poetic boats on the water exude lifeless beauty. The imaginary Totma of the Vologda region appears to such a hero. He himself comes from Luga, with all the chic of his life, he loves the Russian village. Frol saw the ideal of its embodiment in the film “Atlantis of the Russian North” and set about creating a film with Sofia Gorlenko about his village grandmother with a tragic fate. Sophia Ernst could play her.

The script for “Thin Thread” was written by Gleb Kuznetsov, who is trying with a team of volunteers to revive northern architecture. This is not his first collaboration with Sofya Gorlenko and composer Marat Fayzullin, who brought in Udmurt musicians and combined electronic music with the outlandish kubyz instrument.

In the credits, the director thanks all the participants in the project “for playing this game with us.” It has united so many talented people, but much has gone into the sand because of ghostly ideas about the original culture, which turned out to be connected by strong threads of glamour.

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